Kingdom Of Conspiracy

Written by: MST on 16/07/2013 02:01:55

I've been avoiding reviewing this, the ninth full-length opus from the legendary American death metal squad Immolation. Despite having been active (and just as active) for as long as the absolute heavyweights in the genre, Immolation never seemed to get as much attention as the likes of Morbid Angel or Suffocation. Nevertheless, in albums such as "Close To A World Below" and "Unholy Cult" from 2000 and 2002 respectively, Immolation have created death metal brilliance, and with 2010's "Majesty and Decay" and the "Providence" EP from 2011 the band showed that they still have it in them. Now, 22 years after the release of their debut, Immolation return with "Kingdom Of Conspiracy".

Immolation have always dealt with the darker side of humanity in their lyrics, so it should come as no surprise to anyone given the current events happening all around the world that "Kingdom Of Conspiracy" deals with oppression, lies and deceit and, well, conspiracy. Expressed through the deep growls of bass-wielding frontman Ross Dolan, the lyrics and vocals are vital parts of Immolation's signature death metal sound, a sound characterized by a generally dark atmosphere. Bob Vigna's heavy riffs, melodic leads and solos and Steve Shalaty's impressive drumming - be it furious blasting or ominous slower pounding - make up the foundation of Immolation's music. What sets Immolation apart from the rest of the death metal world is that aforementioned darkness in the soundscape; though not as prominent here as on previous records, there is an everpresent aura of darkness enveloping Immolation's music, and it's due in part to this dark atmosphere that songs like the title track and the excellent "God Complex" turn out to be fantastic death metal anthems.

But I started by saying that I've been avoiding writing this review, and why is that you might ask. Well, after lots and lots of listens, "Kingdom Of Conspiracy" just doesn't quite hit me. It's not just that it's not as good as my favourite Immolation records - it doesn't even get close. When Immolation are good, they're really good, like on the brilliantly executed "God Complex" with its epic leads, the combination of the riffs and the drums that calls for headbanging and the brutal vocals coming in at all the right moments. But when there are only two or three tracks that stand out after numerous listens, it's hard to believe that this album was written by the mighty Immolation. There are no songs that are decidedly bad, but while you can always find parts of a song that make you bob your head back and forth, they will often be followed by run-of-the-mill riffs and boring compositions that ruin the overall impression.

So, "Kingdom Of Conspiracy". The ninth opus from this legendary American death metal band is a disappointment to this writer. Not because it's bad; most of the songs on the album are decent, but because there are so few excellent songs, the album as a whole just comes off as lackluster. There is plenty of potential, but most of the good ideas are poorly executed, resulting in a 40-minute album that can best be described as hit-and-miss.

Download: Kingdom Of Conspiracy, God Complex, The Great Sleep
For The Fans Of: Nile, Morbid Angel, Incantation
Listen: Youtube

Release date: 10.05.2013
Nuclear Blast GmbH

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